Imagine this: it’s a Monday morning and you’re on your way to work, taking the train for the first time. Of course, according to Murphy’s Law your train is running late, and you have a little extra time on your hands that you normally wouldn’t have otherwise. While waiting at the station you pull out your smartphone and begin to check some things off your to-do list that you had planned for after work.
First, you open your mobile banking app to make sure your direct deposit was placed into your checking account. With just a few taps, you’ve moved to your Uber app to check on the car that is bringing your child to the airport for his flight to grandma’s house. Seeing all is well, you decide to open your Moviefone app and check times for date night with the husband, and your train has finally arrived.
We use apps for everything today, and there seems to be an app for everything we need. Well, almost everything. With more than 2 million apps available across the most popular app stores, medical applications only make up a little more than 2 percent of the app market share in 2015.
A recent article in The Atlantic titled, “The Problem With Satisfied Patients,” outlined how the Department of Health and Human Serives administration is basing 30 percent of hospitals’ Medicare on patient satisfaction survey scores. The problem, journalist Alexandra Robbins found, is this caused some hospitals to “make people happy, rather than making them well.”
If we look at mobile applications in other industries as customer service tools, we should look at apps in the medical field in the same way. If a hospital develops its own app as a form of self-service to its patients, it will be able improve patient satisfaction, without having to sacrifice top-notch medical attention.
Here are three reasons why your hospital needs a mobile app:
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR): It goes without saying that patients should have access to their EMRs. However, just as many patients often don’t know when they need to see a doctor, and are unaware of how to get a hold of these records when they need them most. This often begins a painstaking process of calling the hospital, finding the right person to speak to and then (hopefully) obtaining your EMR quickly. Just as your mobile banking app allows you to securely check bank statements, view your routing and account numbers and even transfer money, your hospital’s app can securely allow patients to view their EMR at any time.
- Bill pay: No one likes to go to the hospital, especially when you know your parting gift will be a hefty bill. Dealing with the stress of having to pay medical bills is enough to handle, but having to deal with a hospital’s billing department can oftentimes be too much. Today, you can pay every bill online—including your mortgage—so why not your medical bills too? A hospital app that allows for bill pay can free up employees to handle more important tasks.
- Scheduling: One healthcare provider that has been in the news (maybe too much) recently is the Veterans Health Administration. One of the reasons why the spotlight has been turned on the VHA is because of wait times that can sometimes be up to two months—for non-emergency medical care. Luckily, your hospital doesn’t have that same problem,; however, no matter how long the wait, patients would rather not. A mobile application can turn all of your scheduling into a digitally automated system where patients can check wait times for walk-in visits, change and schedule appointments. Again, this helps free up employees for more important tasks, all while making your waiting room more efficient and patient friendly.
There are a million different reasons why hospitals need mobile applications—including checking the status of a loved one in surgery—but in order to take the next step, they’ll need a partner who knows mobile application development from the inside and out. If you’d like to learn more on creating mobile apps, check out our on demand webinar here.